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Art Rooney II’s desire to play in Mexico will have to wait, for now

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a strong presence in Mexico, but they won’t be playing across the border in 2023.

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a global brand. There is no debating this fact, and when it comes to fan base size there are few who even compete with the Steelers both here and abroad.

When it comes to those south of the United States’ border, the black-and-gold faithful in Mexico are nearly as rabid as those who live in the 412 area code. The Steelers now have official radio affiliates in many Mexico cities, and they put together some of the best highlight reels.

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For years now team president Art Rooney II has petitioned to have the Steelers play south of the border. That was his intent again in 2022, but the league announced the Steelers won’t be playing in Mexico this year. In fact, the NFL won’t hold any games in Mexico during the 2023 season because of work being done at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City this year. But that doesn’t mean Rooney isn’t going to continue to push to have his team play there in the near future.

“(We) would like to play a game in Mexico again sometime soon,” Rooney said. “We’ve got a great fan base down there. And we have the right now under this new international program that the league has to have more of a presence in Mexico, and we now have a preseason television agreement down there. Our preseason games are going to shown in Mexico. Our radio broadcasts are on in Mexico, so it’s a presence we’re going to continue to try to build on.”

There was long though to be a stipulation in the Steelers’ home stadium where they had to have 10 home games per season, and many believed this would throw a wrench into the international plans; however, Rooney said that wasn’t the case with the current lease with Acrisure.

Another option for the Steelers, and the NFL, is to have another team host the game in Mexico, and not having the Steelers lose a home game in the process. With Rooney pushing as hard as he has been, it only seems like a matter of time until the Steelers head south for a regular season contest.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the NFL offseason.